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Mustard, one of my favorite condiments
Mustard is very near the top of the list for me when it comes to condiments. If I had a hot dog on a remote island, and could have just one condiment, I would choose mustard for it. It adds a lot of flavor to anything you put it on. I like it with crackers, cheese and summer sausage as well. If I run out of summer sausage, I still put a little mustard on my cheese and crackers. These are clues that it is one condiment that I really like. For a condiment, that has only a few calories for a whole spoonful, it sure does pack a flavorful punch.
There are some interesting facts I found out regarding mustard and I wanted share them with you. Some I hadn't heard before.
Supposedly, the English word mustard is from the Latin words, mustum ardens. It means burning wine. They would grind the sees of the senvy plant, and mix it with an unfermented wine which was the "mustem" part of that. Thus, mustem ardens, burning wine.
Canada, evidently is the worlds biggest produces of the mustard seed. Each field growing mustard can produce up to 1 ton of seed. This in turn produces 880 kg of mustard flour, and that can make 4,760 kg of the wet yellow mustard. Depending on the size of the jar or bottle, that can make approximately 47,600 jars of mustard.
Facts, or old wives tales? You be the judge for these below:
*Some say that if you store mustard upside down, it will be hotter.
*One Tablespoon of mustard can stop the hiccups
*Pope John XXII evidently was very fond of mustard, and so much so that he created a whole new position in the Vatican that was called "Grand Moutardier du pape". Soon after, the position was filled by his nephew.
*King Louis XI supposedly traveled with his very own Royal Mustard Pot, just to be sure he had some should his hosts not have any. I would wager that he liked mustard too, if true.
*One of the first medical mentions (if not the first medical mention) of mustard was found in the Hippocratic writings. Mustard was noted as being used for general muscular relief.
*Evidently, mustard can help to stimulate one's appetite, and can also clear your sinuses. It does so in a way similar to chilies, and can be just as effective as over the counter decongestants.
*If you are worried about frostbite on your feet, it has been suggested to sprinkle some mustard flour in your socks, because it can help to prevent frostbite. This has also been mentioned of other herbs that contained a volatile oils.
The Term, "To cut the mustard", where did that come from? Anyone else ever wondered about that like I have? Some say that it is another way of saying that you were able to accomplish or meet some expectations, etc. Evidently, over a century ago some mustards were being passed off as being the real thing, when really they didn't contain the purest ingredients. In 1907, O'Henry coined the term when he was looking around to find a proposition that cut the mustard. Interesting little tidbit there.
About Mustard Heat The "heat" from mustard comes from its volatile oils that seem to activate upon being mixed with water. I usually like really hot things, but I am one of the few people I know that love regular yellow mustard, but don't like anything beyond that. When you have a very hot mustard, sometimes it can bring tears to your eyes after the heat has traveled up your nose. The good news is, that even if its hot, it will dissipate quickly unlike some hot peppers.
Personally, I love the simple yellow mustard best. It goes well with so many things, like the obvious sandwich, but also the less obvious big warm salty pretzel. If you haven't tried that, its a must. Honey mustard recipes are great ones to try as well. For using it in a heated form, that is what I would probably do the most.